• Viewbrite Safety Products
  • Viewbrite Safety Products
  • Viewbrite Safety Products

An Introduction To Safety Cones Reflective Collars

Safety cones are twentieth-century inventions and are utilized for a multitude of outdoor and indoor purposes. The use of a cone is cost-effective, allows for a great deal of flexibility and requires minimal resources for placement and maintenance. The US Federal Highway Administration, in its Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, requires safety cones reflective collars to increase visibility in low-light or nighttime conditions.

The History

Safety cones were invented in 1914. They were invented by American Charles Rudabaker and David Morgan of Oxford in the United Kingdom, refined the design in 1961. Rudabaker’s design was originally made of concrete but a cone today is made of highly durable plastic. The cone may be used in any weather condition and is easily seen by drivers at high speeds, thanks to bright colors and reflective collars.

Road Construction

Road construction workers use the cone to redirect traffic. A cone also serves to protect the lives of construction workers who are not in a position to see oncoming traffic while they are working. The easy setup and placement of a cone makes it ideal for short-term rerouting of cars into other lanes or onto road shoulders while construction is completed.

Safety Personel

The cone reroutes traffic around auto accidents and breakdowns. Police officers, firefighters and EMTs use the cone to keep traffic away from accident sites so that traffic does not interfere with evidence. A cone also moves traffic away from cars experiencing flat tires or other breakdowns, especially when a car’s emergency lights are disabled.

Hazardous Conditions

The traffic cone often marks hazardous road conditions. The traffic cone is often set up near potholes or other areas of natural or human-initiated road damage. At times, the traffic cone is set up at accident-prone sites to reduce the likelihood of collisions and injuries.

Indoor Uses

A cone has a number of other uses. Indoors, the safety cone marks off areas closed to pedestrians or warns people to beware of slippery conditions. Outdoors, some organizations use a cone to mark off parking lots or delivery zones. The cone may also mark off VIP areas during important events or reserved parking.


For visibility in the dark, cones are fit with reflective collars. Collars are white strips made from white reflective plastic, which may be either slipped over cones, or held in place by tape or adhesive. Regulations require two collars on one 28-inch cone and one collar on a cone measuring eighteen inches or fewer. On 28-inch models, the top band must be a minimum of six inches wide and must be placed between three and four inches from the top. The second collar should be a four-inch band placed two inches below the 6-inch band.

Safety traffic cones are helpful inventions, which have protected many people, in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. Whether used to reroute traffic,to block off inaccessible areas or to mark off certain parking zones, the cone is an important tool for construction workers, emergency workers and drivers of any type of vehicle. To maximize the usefulness of the cone, particularly in low light, regulations require the use of safety cones reflective collars. Sometimes they’re the most important piece of safety gear.

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